It’s no mystery that at least a fraction of the reason why OS updates are delayed for many devices boils down to the custom UIs manufacturers place on top of Android. The rest of the delay is made up of tailoring the new OS for each device and then adding in various carrier and OEM applications and tweaks. But love it or hate it, custom interfaces like HTC Sense and the artist formerly known as MotoBlur are here to stay. OK, so why not let users have the option of turning the custom skins on and off? While that is still a possibility for manufacturers to consider, Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke out on the matter saying the company would never force partners to run a certain iteration of Android.
He went on to say that the whole notion was in contrast to the very foundation of open source, an aspect that Android boasts quite proudly. Schmidt said, “if we were to put those type of restrictions on an open source product, we’d be violating the principle of open source.” Now many would argue Google likes to pick and choose just how open Android really is with certain aspects like the inclusion of the Android Market or the ‘with Google’ tag being left up to the whim of the search giant, but fair enough. The actual code is freely available and the large developer and hacker community around Android is a testament to this.
We like to think of Android as open source in its ideals but capitalistic in its goals, which is just fine. Would certain people (me included) love to see the option of running stock Android on all devices (including the fantastic hardware HTC consistently puts out)? Absolutely, but there is always root and ROMs for that. Or the T-Mobile G2. But what do you all think? Should stock Android always be an option on the devices you choose? Let us know in the poll below.